M1 Macs in the cloud: Amazon Web Services releases upgraded Mac EC2 instances

Amazon Web Services is doubling down on the latest Apple technologies with the general availability of its EC2 M1 Mac instances, an upgrade of its service that gives developers access to Mac minis in the cloud.

The Mac-based cloud computing service was originally introduced in 2020, complete with a video of Amazon bringing in a truckload of Mac minis to an AWS data center. The service was initially based on Mac minis with x86 processors.

Amazon announced the upgrade to Macs running Apple-designed M1 chips in preview at its re:Invent conference in November 2021. The news of general availability on Thursday afternoon makes M1 Macs widely available on AWS.

The service is geared for developers building and testing apps for Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. AWS says EC2 M1 Mac instances provide up to 60% better price performance than x86 EC2 Mac instances did.

EC2 is shorthand for Elastic Compute Cloud, Amazon’s flagship service for accessing computing in the cloud. The EC2 M1 Mac service use the AWS Nitro System. 

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